Burford is a picturesque town known as the "gateway to the Cotswolds", a predominantly rural landscape with stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.
Being 18 miles west of Oxford, 2 miles from the Oxfordshire border, and on the southern bank of the River Windrush. the town dates back to the middle Saxon period and is recorded in the Doomsday Book as being an "agricultural village". However, around 1100 the town was granted its charter meaning that today, despite having a population of only 1,400 people (2012), it is classified as a "town".
The decision that the railway be routed through Charlbury undoubtedly affected the town's prosperity but also allowed it to maintain its character.
The town church was instrumental in the formation of Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. In 1874, designer William Morris visited Burford Church and was appalled by the "restoration" works being carried out. Much "restoration" then seemed to involve destroying (or significantly altering) the genuine old features to replace them with "sham" modern imitations. On his visit to Burford Church, he witnessed the ongoing destruction of the medieval wall paintings and was prompted to start the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Not all of the wall paintings were destroyed, and many can still be seen today.
Buses run between Burford and other local towns:
- Stagecoach Service 233. Woodstock - Hanborough - Witney - Burford
- Swanbrook Coaches Service 853. Oxford → Cassington (A40) → Witney → Minster Lovell → Burford → Northleach → Andoversford → Cheltenham → Gloucester
- [dead link] Villager Community Buses Service. Run a limited service on some days.
By car you can reach Burford easily via the A40 from Oxford or Cheltenham directions. Otherwise you can come in from the direction of Stow-on-the-Wold on the A424 which is a beautiful drive.
There is a 1 , and car-parking on the streets as well as at Burford Recreation Ground off Tanners Lane. Be careful, though, as parking in some areas is limited to 2 hours - this is clearly marked. Most of the hotels also have their own car-parking.
There's no station in Burford. Most services stop at Charlbury Station whilst slightly closer Shipton has a more limited service. Both stations are on the line to Oxford and Worcester. There are direct trains to London Paddington twice an hour.
- 2 Charlbury Railway Station, Station Approach, off Dyers Hill, Charlbury, OX7 3HH (9 miles NE of Burford).
- 3 Shipton Railway Station, Station Rd, Shipton-under-Wychwood OX7 5FJ (5 miles N of Burford).
The town is small enough to walk everywhere. The lovely high street has many shops, pubs and tea rooms to spend a pleasant afternoon browsing.
- 1 St John the Baptist, Church Green, Burford OX18 4RY, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Large Anglican church in Burford. Built in 1175, the church has some interesting features.
- 2 Tolsey Museum, 122 High St, Burford OX18 4QU. Early Apr-late Oct: Tu-Su 2-5PM. Local museum featuring exhibits such as a charter from Henry VIII granting a fair and a doll's house modelled after the Great House on Witney St. The museum is situated on the first floor (up stairs) of the Tolsey so there is no disabled access.
- Walk. There is a lovely walk from Burford to Little and Great Barrington.
- 1 Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bradwell Grove, Burford OX18 4JP (2½ miles S of Burford), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Oct: 10AM-6PM; Nov-Mar: 10AM-5PM or dusk. Adult £15; Children & seniors £10.
- Levellers Day. Annual commemorative event remembering the execution of 3 soldiers in Burford Churchyard on the orders of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. They belonged to a movement known as the Levellers, with beliefs in civil rights and religious tolerance. Speeches, rally, debates, refreshments, stalls, music.
- 1 W. J. Castle, 111 High St, Burford OX18 4RG, ☏ . Tu-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 8:30AM-4PM. Fantastic butchers.
- 2 Burford Sweets (The Sweet Shop), 94 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-5PM. A small confectioner that sells sweets usually in 100 g (3 oz) from a jar.
- 3 Burford Garden Company (Burford Garden Centre), Shilton Rd, Burford OX18 4PA, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. A large and notable garden centre, but due to its size it's like a department store. They sell toys, clothing, confectionery, souvenirs, furniture and antiques. Also has an upmarket café.
- 4 The Co-op (The Co-operative), 76 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ . M-Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 7AM-10PM. A local convenience store.
As with much of the Cotswolds antiques are a big thing in Burford. There are regular Antique fairs which take place at the church and in one of the buildings on the high street. There are also antique shops selling some beautiful things.
- 1 Huffkins Tea Room, 98 & 96 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ . A lovely tea room serving anything from a traditional cream tea with home-baked scones to a good plate of bangers and mash. Very popular with locals and tourists. Child friendly. shop and tea rooms opening hours vary through year mid-range.
- 2 The Mermaid, 78 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurant serving traditional food in a traditional setting.
- Wychwood Deli, The Green, Milton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6GF. 9AM-5PM. Local deli.
- 3 The Priory (Restaurant & B&B), 35 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ . Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM.
- 4 The Spice Lounge (Indian Restaurant), 81 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ . M-Th noon-2PM & 6-10PM, F 6-10PM, Sa Su noon-2PM & 6-10PM.
There are a number of good pubs in Burford with pints costing around £2.50 to £3 each.
- 1 The Angel at Burford (Pub, Food & Rooms), 14 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Bar: 10AM-11:30PM. Food: noon-9:30PM. A 16th-century coaching inn. Pub serving food.
- 2 Bay Tree Hotel, Sheep St, Burford OX18 4LW, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great atmospheric pub and restaurant, has contemporary rooms, some dog-friendly. B&B double £130.
- 3 Royal Oak, 26 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN, ☏ . M-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-7PM. Good pub, run by locals.
- 4 The Cotswold Arms (Pub & Food), 46 High St, Burford OX18 4QF, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM.
- 5 Shilton Rose & Crown, 3 Bridge St, Shilton OX18 4AB (off B4020), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-3PM, 6-10PM, Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Country pub with good food,
- 1 Travelodge Burford, Bury Barn A40, Burford OX18 4JF, ☏ (premium). Check-in: from 3PM (noon £10), check-out: by noon (2PM £10). Wi-Fi. Free on-site parking From £70 a night.
- 2 The Fox Inn (Pub, Food & Rooms), Great Barrington OX18 4TB, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Pub: Daily all day. Food: M-F noon-2:30PM & 6:30PM-9:30PM, Sa Su noon-9:30PM. A traditional pub in small village near Burford. On the River Windrush, with great garden and traditional pub meals. Worth a visit for a pint, or to stay.
- 3 The Highway Inn (Pub, Food & Rooms), 117 High St, Burford OX18 4RG, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 The Lamb Inn, Sheep St, Burford OX18 4LR, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Good food, but it's the accommodation in upscale country style that scores. B&B double from £160.
- 5 The Burford House Hotel (Hotel, Restaurant & Tea Rooms), 99 High St, Burford OX18 4QA, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Food: Tu-Sa noon-2:30PM & 6-9PM, Su noon-4PM. Bar: M-Th noon-10:30PM, F Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-6PM. Tea House: M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-6PM.
- 6 Five Alls, Filkins, Lechlade GL7 3JQ, ☏ . 18th-century country pub and restaurant with nine rooms. Good atmosphere, comfort and food, though limited vegetarian choice. B&B double £120.
- 7 Thyme at Southrop Manor, Lechlade GL7 3NX, ☏ . Amazing secluded hotel in a 17th-century manor farm, great dining. With spa and cookery school. B&B double £300.
- 8 Maytime Inn, Asthall, Burford OX18 4HW, ☏ . Atmospheric 17th-century coaching inn with six rooms and great dining. B&B double £100.
- 1 Post Office, Burford News, 107 High St, Burford OX18 4RG. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 7AM-5PM.
Oxford isn't too far away and is a good next stop if you're leaving the Cotswolds. Swanbrook bus no. 853 runs to Oxford and surrounding towns. Check the schedule as this does not run frequently - especially on Sunday.
Roads are flat and good for cycling.
- Bourton-on-the-Water 9 miles NW.
- Stratford-Upon-Avon 30 miles N.
- Witney 8 miles E.
- Stow-on-the-Wold 10 miles N.
- Cirencester 18 miles W.
|Routes through Burford|
|Gloucester ← Cheltenham ←||W E||→ Witney → Oxford|
|Banbury ← Chipping Norton ←||N S||→ Highworth → Swindon|